Prominent stakeholders of the Kochi Metro are peeved at Kochi Corporation’s apathy in readying infrastructure for streamlining traffic, despite the metro’s work set to begin in a few months’ time.
The traffic restrictions imposed for an unspecified period to widen the Town Hall-Kacheripady stretch has further intensified the demand for readying alternative routes for motorists.
Sources in the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) expressed angst at the civic agency not initiating steps to widen the approach road on the western side of the Salim Rajan overbridge that is expected to be commissioned in the first week of April. Neither has steps been taken to clear encroachers from roads.
Moreover, work has not begun on the Atlantis overbridge, through which vehicles will have to be diverted when the South overbridge is pulled down and rebuilt as a four-lane one simultaneously with the metro works. The State government had handed over Rs 48 crore to the civic agency for the project.
The corporation is yet to widen the approach roads to the Pullepady bridge – another alternative route, despite snarls becoming common. The government had handed over Rs 25 crore over a year ago for widening the Thammanam-Pullepady Road. The road which was envisaged as a four-lane one over a decade ago does not even have two-lane width at many places.
The fear is rife that the extremely narrow road in front of the KSRTC bus stand, where Salim Rajan overbridge ends will be choked with vehicles once it is opened to traffic. The sharp curves that lay ahead too have not been widened.
The junction where Rajaji Road meets Chittoor Road, and the Abad Plaza Hotel junction on MG Road too will become major bottlenecked unless Kochi Corporation widens the bell mouths here. Parking curbs too will have to be introduced.
The Secretary of Kochi Corporation Ajith Patil said that the agency will expedite the land acquisition to widen the approach road to the Salim Rajan overbridge. “As for the Atlantis, the land acquisition process is expected to be over by March-end. The tendering process can begin by April. “We have sought more funds from the government for the project.”
He said that a review meeting will be held soon to widen the Pullepady-Katrikadavu Road. Another long-pending overbridge is the incomplete one at Ponnurunni. The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) has been unable to complete the bridge, because of the delay in obtaining clearance from the Commissioner for Railway Safety and problems associated with land acquisition.
The PWD has not begun widening of the Vyttila-Pettah road into a four-lane one.